Tom Bergeron details bulls**t DWTS exit after he was unexpectedly fired
DWTS pro Lisa Arnold teaches daughter how to dance
Tom Bergeron was a staple of Dancing With the Stars, hosting the show for its first 28 seasons before he was shockingly fired.
Now he’s opening up more about what led to his untimely and surprising dismissal.
Appearing on former pro Cheryl Burke’s podcast, Sex Lies and Spray Tans, Bergeron, 68, detailed more of what happened behind the scenes before he and then co-host Erin Andrews were released from their contracts.
Prior to his final season, the former game show host had made a statement that he didn’t agree with a major casting decision the ABC reality competition series made at the time regarding Sean Spicer’s participation.
He revealed later that he felt it led to his departure.
Now, he confirmed that he had some idea he was going to be fired because of his initial reaction to the Spicer casting.
Read more: Strictly’s Amanda Abbington ‘couldn’t cope’ and put ‘brave face’ on before exit
Recounting that he had lunch with an unnamed showrunner and another executive and expressed concerns about having anyone political on the show in 2019, since it was leading up to an election year that was set to be divisive. However, he then learned that the show had gotten Spicer, and called out the choice.
“I said, ‘Guys, this is exactly what we said we wouldn’t do. Don’t go there. This is, you know, now the right time, play to our strengths, be the show that gives people a break from all this bulls**t,’” he recalled.
He also said that at the time, when he made his distaste for the decision known, he was offered the opportunity to be “let out of his contract” which was part of how he knew his days were numbered.
He then shared that his mindset when he released his statement was one built out of anger.
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“They had screwed me. I’m gonna screw them,” he said. “But I wanted the viewers to know this was a step too far to me. This was a step too far on the cusp of an election year. And again–had it been a Democrat, same statement.”
“It wasn’t about my political beliefs, it was about my feeling about the show, what is this show at its best?” he shared later. “And what was happening was we were suddenly becoming this show at its worst,”
He also shared he knew it was “probably my last season,” and admitted he was “miserable” the whole time.
Following his and Andrews’ departures, Tyra Banks took over as both an executive producer and host for seasons 29-30, and then was joined by Alfonso Ribeiro for the 31st season.
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Banks announced her own departure after Season 31, and the show is currently co-hosted by Ribeiro and former pro Julianne Hough.
Burke retired from the show after Season 31, at the same time that Len Goodman also announced he was leaving. Goodman then died a few months later from bone cancer.
Former original pros are all returning for a Season 32 tribute to Goodman, but Burke was not asked back.
Dancing With the Stars airs Tuesdays on ABC and Disney+. Episodes can be streamed the next day on Hulu.
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